We’re sure you probably don’t need any more reasons to be excited about the upcoming release of the new Godzilla movie, but just in case you missed the boat here are five reasons why you should have your feet planted firmly on the sticky floor of a cinema near you come May 2014.
1. The Cast
Two words: Bryan and Cranston. Well, in fact more than two words: Juliette Binoche. Elizabeth Olsen. Aaron Taylor Johnson. Ken Watanabe. All that, and Sally Hawkins too.
2. The Director
Godzilla is only Gareth Edwards’ second – count them- second film. If it were anybody else, we’d be a little bit worried about that fact, but considering his first film was the brilliant sci-fi thriller Monsters (2010), opportunistically shot on a shoe-string budget with home-made CGI, we’re not worried at all. If he could do all of that in his back garden with a hand cranked cinematograph, some Gaffa tape and a couple of frying pans, just imagine what he’s come up with now that he’s actually got a hefty budget on his hands..
3. The Camerawork
Jumpy handheld shots, point-of-view shots from inside helmets, elegant long landscape shots of burning buildings and disaster areas, shots from inside cars as a tidal wave bears down on us – and that’s just the trailer. It all looks beautiful from a cinematic standpoint, and in places harrowingly reminiscent of news footage of earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis and the like. Godzilla is, after all, a force of nature; the poignance of the film can be summed up in this quote from the trailer: “The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in our control…and not the other way round.”
4. The Monster
Of course, we only get to see glimpses of the titular lizard in the trailer – a scaly haunch, a ridged spine, and right at the end a gaping maw soaring high above (and even that only through the crack of a closing door). Still, we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect, and it seems that we are going to be treated to classic Godzilla – and then some. Total Film has described the lizard’s telling features as ‘ridiculously canon’; Godzilla seems more like Godzilla than ever before, if that’s possible.
He also seems to be bigger than ever before, a fact Edwards confirmed during a Q & A session: “Technically, he’s 350 ft in our film.” Yipes. This is where the realistic, point-of-view style camerawork is hopefully going to be brought massively into play – if Godzilla’s really that big there’s no way we’ll be able to take him all in at once, leaving the true nature of the beast a deliciously tantalising mystery, à la Edwards’ Monsters.
5. The Trailers
If you still haven’t seen either the teaser trailer or the full trailer for Godzilla, you should probably get on that now. Tense, keening orchestral music, sublime editing, a terrifying monologue from Cranston, a couple of instantly recognisable Godzilla shrieks and growls, plus a whole load of wonderfully dark, intense cinematography – the trailers are works of art in themselves.
HOWEVER: We’ve been tricked this way before, haven’t we? Specifically by the trailer for Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated attempt at the fifth sequel to Alien. The Prometheus trailer was epic; brilliant edits, terrifying music, et cetera et cetera…And then the film came out, and oh dear. Still, judging by the various reactions from those who have been lucky enough to take a gander at some extended footage, such an antigasm is not on the cards for Godzilla. If anything, the film is pegged to be a hundred times better than the trailers make it look.
Godzilla is due in UK cinemas on May 16th.